Women really take the reins at Phelps Media Group

Women really take the reins at Phelps Media Group

Barre Dukes, Annan Hepner, Catherine Zachariadis, Emma Miller, Lenore Phillips and Elaine Wessel

We spoke to some of the ladies at Phelps Media Group to find out what it's like to be a woman in the equestrian industry in 2018.

Tell everyone who you are

Phelps Media Group, Inc. is an international leader in sports media with a primary focus on competitive equestrian disciplines and is comprised of nine women from a wide array of equestrian and media backgrounds.

What’s been your greatest professional achievement to date?

Collectively, we feel that being able to travel the world to cover some of the most prestigious events and interact with the equestrian industry on a daily basis is the definition of #lifegoals.

Personally, we all get very excited and fan-girl over the little things like speaking to jockey Mike Smith about using our client’s products, or when riders like McLain Ward and Victoria Colvin use our photos on their personal social media.

How did you get to where you are today, and who/what helped you?

Obviously we all have family and friends to thank, but we all worked hard to get where we are today. We’ve all come to Phelps Media from varying backgrounds and disciplines of the sport, which is why we can offer such a wide variety of services to our clients.

What’s it like being a woman in your world?

We’re lucky to be in an industry that has many strong females that are highly respected and are in positions of authority, particularly in the hunter/jumper and dressage industries. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other male-dominated equestrian sports, such as polo, in which you are at a distinct disadvantage in being female, whether as a player or a manager.

As far as our office world, we are an all-female company other than the owners, and we all truly get along and are friends outside of our work environment. Having an office of strong women that support each other is something so incredibly unique and empowering. We know we’ve created an office that is an open and supportive environment and it means the world to us. It’s the difference of wanting to get out of bed in the morning and go to work looking forward to the day.

Has being a woman helped or hindered your careers?

If we had to pick one, we’d have to say it has helped although we don’t feel that gender is a trait that makes or breaks you in the equestrian industry–after all, we are one of the only sports where men and women compete against one another. We feel that this industry doesn’t have as much of a glass ceiling on it, or at least that glass ceiling was broken a long time ago thanks to many women who have come before us.

What does a work/life balance look like for you?

It doesn’t look like much. Horse shows are often Wednesday through Sunday but a regular business runs Monday through Friday so there really are no days off. Even on days we’re not at a horse show or in the office, our personal social media is filled with our clients and equestrian accounts so we’re never fully checked out. But when you have a job you really love and an industry you’re passionate about, it makes the work/life balance more tolerable. We do try to do activities outside of the office and the industry to make life a little more “normal” but we chose this industry because we love horses at the end of the day and want to be a part of it.

What’s on the horizon?

Bridging the gap between the equestrian industry and other major sports marketing, as well as striving to help the equestrian sports get in front of more people.

If you could provide one piece of advice to your 16-year-old selves, what would that be?

Individually, we all feel a little differently because we come from unique situations, but collectively we would advise ourselves to just trust the process. We’re all happy to be where we are so we wouldn’t do anything differently. But we do wish we could change the stress levels along the way and maybe enjoy the ride a little more–pun intended.

Related news, about: pr, communications, horse shows, marketing